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US Supreme Court Weighs Trump’s Bid For Immunity From Prosecution


The US Supreme Court is hearing former president Donald Trump’s appeal after the lower courts have rejected his request to be shielded from prosecutions. Trump is accused of four election-related criminal charges, where he has argued that he cannot be prosecuted given that he was serving as president at the time.  Trump is accused of attempting to retain power in the 2020 election and the Jan 6 attack on the Capitol, attempting to reverse the election results in Georgia, handling of classified documents, and paying hush money to a porn star.

Trump, who has pleaded not guilty in all four cases, will not be attending the Supreme Court arguments in Washington because he will be in a Manhattan courtroom.  The former president is accused of falsifying business records to cover the hush money that he paid.

The Supreme Court currently has a 6-3 conservative majority. This includes three justices, who Trump has appointed: Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch. The court, already this year, has handed Trump one major victory as he runs to regain the presidency. On March 4, it overturned a judicial decision that had excluded him from Colorado’s ballot under a constitutional provision involving insurrection for inciting and supporting the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.

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Trump has become the first former president in US history to be criminally prosecuted. Not since its landmark Bush v. Gore decision, which handed the disputed 2000 U.S. election to Republican George W. Bush over Democrat Al Gore, has the court played such an integral role in a presidential race.

Trump’s legal troubles have so far not troubled his standing in the polls. A recent survey by Pew Research Center survey finds the presidential race is virtually tied: 49% of registered voters favor Donald Trump or lean toward voting for him, while 48% support or lean toward Joe Biden. However, 50% of the people surveyed stated that they wanted neither Biden nor Trump to be the president.

(With inputs from Reuters)